19-year-old dies in crash near Millinocket 

LONG A TOWNSHIP, Maine (AP) — State Police say a Maine man has died in a single-vehicle crash near Millinocket. 

Police say 19-year-old Mark Dibona of Millinocket died early Saturday morning after his pickup truck went off the road and crashed into a ditch. He was not wearing a seatbelt. 

The crash happened in Long A Township. 

A driver discovered it just before 3 a.m. 

State police say speed is the likely cause of the crash.  

Father of 1-year-old who died from fentanyl turns himself in 

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The father of a 1-year-old whose October 2018 death was linked to fentanyl exposure is in jail on a charge of child endangerment. 

Police say 31-year-old Shane Smith, of Winterport, turned himself in Thursday night. He faces the same charge as the child’s mother. 

The medical examiner’s office says their daughter died from acute fentanyl intoxication. 

Court documents indicate Smith told police that the mother, 33-year-old Kimberly Nelligan, of Bangor, allegedly rubbed opioid residue on the youngster’s gums to help her sleep. Nelligan denied the accusation and pleaded not guilty. She’s free on bail. 

Smith was due to make his initial appearance in court on Friday. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney. 

New Hampshire company wins $59 million shipyard contact 

KITTERY, Maine (AP) — A New Hampshire company has won a nearly $60 million contract to build a new facility at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. 

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Friday that the contract was awarded to Methuen Construction Company to build a paint, blast, and rubber consolidation facility at the shipyard. 

Her office says the project will consolidate and renovate some existing facilities. 

The new facility will be comprised of industrial shop areas and offices, break rooms, locker rooms, training and support spaces. 

Collins, a Republican, says once the work is completed “these consolidated and renovated facilities will provide workers with modern, streamlined spaces to fulfill their mission of repairing and modernizing our Navy’s submarines.” 

Maine lobster marketers to put premium on flavor, origins 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s lobster marketing group says it’s going to refocus its efforts on the flavor and origins of the state’s signature seafood item to try to drive more interest in the crustaceans. 

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative’s recent campaigns have included trying to grow interest in “new shell” lobsters, which are softer-shelled lobsters typically in heavy supply in the summer. The group says a new strategy will focus on the “key product benefits of sweet flavor, sustainable sourcing and Maine origin, while recognizing that the new shell serves as an important indicator of seasonality.” 

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative was created by the state and is funded by Maine’s lobstermen, dealers and processors. Executive Director Marianne LaCroix says the new marketing push will take forms such as public relations and social media.  

Maine to get help removing lead hazards from homes 

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Communities in Maine will receive nearly $15 million to combat the problem of lead in homes. 

Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced the grants, which she said will help families in the state that can’t afford lead abatement. Lead exposure can be harmful to children’s brain development. 

The largest of the grants is an award of more than $4.6 million to the city of Lewiston. Portland will receive more than $2.5 million, Biddeford will get more than $3.2 million and the Maine State Housing Authority will receive more than $3.8 million. 

Lead paint is a problem in Maine because of older housing. 

The money is coming from federal programs including the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program, the Lead-Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program and the Healthy Homes Initiative. 

Timber company wants to pull plug on Moosehead development 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A timber company wants to pull the plug on a massive development in the Moosehead Lake region that was the source of lively debate over the future of the Maine’s North Woods. 

Weyerhaeuser informed the Land Use Planning Commission this week that it wants to end development and subdivision zoning rights that were granted to Plum Creek Timber Company. 

The proposal dragged on for years before the Land Use Regulation Commission, as it was known then, rezoned nearly 400,000 acres. Plum Creek, which later merged with Weyerhaeuser, was allowed to develop 975 house lots and two resorts in exchange for conservation easements. 

Weyerhaeuser, which said no development occurred, blamed the Great Recession of 2008-2009 for changing the development landscape. The company’s request doesn’t change the conservation easements. 

Pick-your-own hemp field in Maine 

WHITEFIELD, Maine (AP) — A Maine couple has set up the first public pick-your-own hemp field in the state on their 180-acre farm. 

Ben and Taryn Marcus’ Sheepscot General Farm in Whitefield, Maine, grows hemp and strawberries. 

The Portland Press Herald reports Sheepscot has license to plant 7,000 plants on about three acres. 

Hemp is a variety of cannabis with trace amounts for the psychoactive chemical THC that is used largely for CBD extraction. Some Americans use it to treat pain, insomnia and anxiety. 

The U.S. legalized cultivation of the plant in 2018 with the Farm Bill.  However, the Food and Drug Administration requires regulatory approval of all CBD infused foods. 

Ben Marcus says anything that was not picked over the weekend will be harvested this week. 

Maine small game hunting seasons get started for the fall 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s fall hunting seasons are arriving for hunters who pursue small game animals. 

The hunts for gray squirrels and snowshoe hares began on Saturday. There is also a season for raccoons that begins Oct. 1, and seasons for skunks, opossums and foxes that begin on Oct. 21. 

The state’s big game hunts are also still going on. The main archery season for deer begins Oct. 5, and it’s already legal to hunt deer via archery in some parts of the state. It’s also legal to hunt bears until Nov. 30, and the next stretch of the moose hunt will run from Oct. 14 to 19.  

More voice for sustainability on Maine’s pesticide board 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Future meetings of Maine’s Board of Pesticides Control could have more voice for advocates of sustainable management of pests. 

A state law change says one of the members of the board that is appointed to represent the public must have “practical experience and knowledge of methods of sustainable management of indoor or outdoor pests.” The change doesn’t require the termination of members who are currently serving on the board, but it could change its composition somewhat in the future. 

The Board of Pesticides Control next meets on Nov. 8. It’s the top agency in the state for oversight of pesticides. 

A spokesman for the board says the governor and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will seek candidates with appropriate backgrounds to fill slots as openings occur.  

Group to release thousands of rare salmon in Maine river 

EAST MACHIAS, Maine (AP) — An environmental group in Down East Maine says it will release thousands of salmon into a river next month as part of an effort to help grow the population of the species. 

The Downeast Salmon Federation says about 250,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon will be released into the East Machias River. The project is part of the International Year of the Salmon effort that is taking place in different countries. 

The Atlantic salmon is a focus of conservation in Maine because it’s listed under the Endangered Species Act in the United States. The fish were once plentiful in U.S. rivers, but populations plummeted due to dams, overfishing and pollution. They now return to only a handful of rivers in Maine, including the Penobscot River, numbering usually in the hundreds. 

Maine city having 1 of the driest months in its history 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s largest city is on track to have one of the driest Septembers in its recorded history. 

The National Weather Service says this month is currently the third driest in Portland history, according to records that go back 148 years. The city has seen less than a half inch of rain this month, and that includes nearly a quarter of an inch that fell on Thursday evening. 

The Portland Press Herald reports the driest September in the city’s history was recorded in 1948, when less than a third of an inch of rain fell. 

There’s rain in the forecast for Saturday night, but the remaining few days of September are otherwise expected to be mostly dry as well. The dry month is coming months after an unusually wet spring.